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The Puzzler

Akrotiri Flotilla really an evacuation?

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Posted (edited)

Maybe I'm just really bored, but I was staring at the Akrotiri painting for a bit too long and started to see that it looked like it could actually be a depiction of an evacuation from Thera, rather than a procession or such. I also noticed that Thera? had a large canal going around it, with a river to the mountains, like Atlantis description but I won't dwell on that now.

So I thought I'd see if anyone had anything interesting to say on whether they thought this could be an evacuation scene at all...it might be something that would be painted too.

800px-AKROTIRI_SHIP-PROCESSION-FULL_PANO-3.jpg

Get the full resolution: http://en.wikipedia....FULL_PANO-3.jpg

Firstly the island which might be Thera, the one that looks RED, could be on fire? Maybe that's lava and fire in the background and the animals are running because they are fleeing...

Why is it so red? I've seen a lesser coloured version and it still looks quite red.

Then, they are leaving that island, no one appears to be sailing in that direction.

The island that might be Crete, with the ladies in the towers, seems to have many people on the dock area as they are being received from Thera. They are all looking at the boats coming in and towards Thera, which they probably would do if it was erupting. They could be just arriving but what says they are not actually evacuees being taken onshore?

Now, also, the evidence on Thera points to an evacuation from the island.

Only a single gold object has been found, hidden beneath flooring, and no uninterred human skeletal remains have been found. This indicates that an orderly evacuation was performed with little or no loss of life.

http://en.wikipedia....tiri_(Santorini)

Edited by The Puzzler

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interesting thought puzzler

its possible that it could be a depiction of an evacuation

of course it wouldn't be of the great eruption that destroyed the island but rather a minor one some time before.

by the looks of the relaxed nature of the people in the boat, if it is an evacuation scene, it would seem to indicate that it was rather a routine affair in the daily lives of folks living with a volcano.

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interesting thought puzzler

its possible that it could be a depiction of an evacuation

of course it wouldn't be of the great eruption that destroyed the island but rather a minor one some time before.

by the looks of the relaxed nature of the people in the boat, if it is an evacuation scene, it would seem to indicate that it was rather a routine affair in the daily lives of folks living with a volcano.

Thanks for thinking about it some more, yes, I thought it might be showing it as quite routine but I probably wouldn't expect to see any sort of chaos if everyone was evacuated in time, as archaeology shows they were, no real panic should have been necessary.

Why do you think it would not be the great eruption being depicted?

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as the frieze is from the remains of a building in Akrotiri, on the island of Thera itself, which was completely buried beneath meters of ash by the great eruption (and only excavated in recent times at the site) then it just stands to reason that it must depict an event (whether an evacuation or not) prior to its burial.

if it does depict an evacuation scene from the island, perhaps because of seismic activity, then it is reasonable to assume that it was not severe enough that they were able to return and take up residency again some time after the event. unlike the aftermath of the great eruption.

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Posted (edited)

@ The Puzzler

Interesting idea, though the scenes look too peaceful to me. I can certainly see what you mean about the shape of the island looking slightly how Thera may have looked before the eruption, and all the boats are heading in one direction, people seemingly lined up for some reason etc. If there was any clear depiction of disaster taking place I think you would have a strong point, but I think that while it does show an ancient event, it is probably not the Thera eruption. However, after saying that, I rather wish it was.

Edit to add that the animals seen running seem to have a predator chasing them. Looks like a big cat, but I would think there were no big cats on Thera, unless introduced for some purpose...

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Maybe I'm just really bored, but I was staring at the Akrotiri painting for a bit too long and started to see that it looked like it could actually be a depiction of an evacuation from Thera, rather than a procession or such. I also noticed that Thera? had a large canal going around it, with a river to the mountains, like Atlantis description but I won't dwell on that now.

So I thought I'd see if anyone had anything interesting to say on whether they thought this could be an evacuation scene at all...it might be something that would be painted too.

800px-AKROTIRI_SHIP-PROCESSION-FULL_PANO-3.jpg

Get the full resolution: http://en.wikipedia....FULL_PANO-3.jpg

Firstly the island which might be Thera, the one that looks RED, could be on fire? Maybe that's lava and fire in the background and the animals are running because they are fleeing...

Why is it so red? I've seen a lesser coloured version and it still looks quite red.

Then, they are leaving that island, no one appears to be sailing in that direction.

The island that might be Crete, with the ladies in the towers, seems to have many people on the dock area as they are being received from Thera. They are all looking at the boats coming in and towards Thera, which they probably would do if it was erupting. They could be just arriving but what says they are not actually evacuees being taken onshore?

Now, also, the evidence on Thera points to an evacuation from the island.

Only a single gold object has been found, hidden beneath flooring, and no uninterred human skeletal remains have been found. This indicates that an orderly evacuation was performed with little or no loss of life.

http://en.wikipedia....tiri_(Santorini)

Good eye Puzzler:) even the dolpins seem to be fleeing or headed that way.

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as the frieze is from the remains of a building in Akrotiri, on the island of Thera itself, which was completely buried beneath meters of ash by the great eruption (and only excavated in recent times at the site) then it just stands to reason that it must depict an event (whether an evacuation or not) prior to its burial.

if it does depict an evacuation scene from the island, perhaps because of seismic activity, then it is reasonable to assume that it was not severe enough that they were able to return and take up residency again some time after the event. unlike the aftermath of the great eruption.

OK, fair enough. I'm thinking this evacuation was conducted prior to the actual eruption but after several smaller ones, seismic earthquakes, that left lava flow and started fires - they knew it was time to prepare to go, maybe a week or 2 later Thera completely erupted for example - the time would have allowed someone to paint the frieze as the evacuation event occurred, then they left too - then the big eruption occurred and it was covered.

I'm also thinking this might be the evacuation of the royal family or VIP's and hence the seemingly more decorated boats - if they are decorated at all and not a regular kind that travelled the Aegean and another reason to have actually painted the frieze.

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i've read that it is thought that the city and island to the right of the frieze is Knossos and Crete, as apparently some of the architectural features resemble the palace of Knossos as it is thought to have looked, judging from the ruins we see there today. the vessels though, at first glance, don't actually seem to be of a design meant for a lengthy sea voyage of 150 kilometers or so to Crete, but rather to ferry passengers across a small straight.

so i'm wondering, because of the lightness of design of the vessels, whether they are actually making for the islands close at hand to the north, where there may have been other minoan communities, rather than the longer voyage to Crete.

having said that though there are a great many oars protruding from the hulls of what seem to be small vessels, in comparison with the size of the passengers. so could what we are see here be a stylized representation of quite large galleys with the passengers being over scaled so as to see their faces. (?)

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I think correct that all the vessels except on the far left, only show the oars and not the rowers, presumably so they are not in the way of showing what are clearly the ruling class. I think, like AE depictions of boats, that they are reasonably to scale, with some important people shown a bit larger than life. Looking at these boats they are somewhat similar in type to AE ones, and do not look like sea going vessels, though without a single example we can't be sure. The large boat at the middle top looks to be decorated for a festival, not an emergency situation. But this entire picture shows elements that can be seen as either evacuation or water festival. I rather move to position that it shows an important civic/religious event.

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Posted (edited)

Akroteri, a Minoan city on the south part of Thera, is being excavated. About 3-6 feet (1-2 m) of ash fell on the city which had a population of about 30,000. The residents appear to have been successfully evacuated prior to the eruption. No bodies have been found in the ash like those at Vesuvius. Archeologists also reported that movable objects had been taken from the city.

The picture must have been painted of the evacuation, just before the great eruption, the one boat looks like its carring a big load of items.

Edited by docyabut2

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Posted (edited)

Akroteri, a Minoan city on the south part of Thera, is being excavated. About 3-6 feet (1-2 m) of ash fell on the city which had a population of about 30,000. The residents appear to have been successfully evacuated prior to the eruption. No bodies have been found in the ash like those at Vesuvius. Archeologists also reported that movable objects had been taken from the city.

The picture must have been painted of the evacuation, just before the great eruption, the one boat looks like its carring a big load of items.

I certainly like the idea that this does show an evacuation. Though on the lack of bodies, well, it may be too soon to say. Remember that at Herculaneum it was thought for a long time that the people managed to evacuate, then the warehouses on the old coastline were found, and all the bodies....

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Good eye Puzzler:) even the dolpins seem to be fleeing or headed that way.

Yes, they do :tu:

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I think correct that all the vessels except on the far left, only show the oars and not the rowers, presumably so they are not in the way of showing what are clearly the ruling class. I think, like AE depictions of boats, that they are reasonably to scale, with some important people shown a bit larger than life. Looking at these boats they are somewhat similar in type to AE ones, and do not look like sea going vessels, though without a single example we can't be sure. The large boat at the middle top looks to be decorated for a festival, not an emergency situation. But this entire picture shows elements that can be seen as either evacuation or water festival. I rather move to position that it shows an important civic/religious event.

I wonder what the event might be. I thought of that as it's said to be basically that - but I don't really see anything on Crete? that indicates a festival or such is taking place...

The two ladies/queens in the tower (with another possible three) is intriguing to me though. Something of importance must be happening.

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Posted (edited)

Akroteri, a Minoan city on the south part of Thera, is being excavated. About 3-6 feet (1-2 m) of ash fell on the city which had a population of about 30,000. The residents appear to have been successfully evacuated prior to the eruption. No bodies have been found in the ash like those at Vesuvius. Archeologists also reported that movable objects had been taken from the city.

The picture must have been painted of the evacuation, just before the great eruption, the one boat looks like its carring a big load of items.

The boat with only 2 rowers (standing) and birds on the hull looks to have something on board, like a big wooden crate? That boat is totally different to the others.

Only the largest boat is decorated really (with strung decoration), another one has a lesser strung decoration though, which means there might only be one important, decorated boat - which might not indicate such a festival atmosphere afterall...

Edited by The Puzzler

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Posted (edited)

I certainly like the idea that this does show an evacuation. Though on the lack of bodies, well, it may be too soon to say. Remember that at Herculaneum it was thought for a long time that the people managed to evacuate, then the warehouses on the old coastline were found, and all the bodies....

True, but as it stands now this seems to be the evidence, that an evacuation took place. Earthquakes must have abounded prior imo and plenty of warning given by the smoking pre-eruptions. I do have a National Geographic magazine that says possibly a priest and human sacrifice was found, under a crumbled building. I'll see if I can Google something.

Here we are, article from 1981 so I'm not sure how much the article stands up nowadays and it's Crete not Thera, still interesting though http://www.kythera-f...bruary 1981.pdf

Edited by The Puzzler

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True, but as it stands now this seems to be the evidence, that an evacuation took place. Earthquakes must have abounded prior imo and plenty of warning given by the smoking pre-eruptions. I do have a National Geographic magazine that says possibly a priest and human sacrifice was found, under a crumbled building. I'll see if I can Google something.

Here we are, article from 1981 so I'm not sure how much the article stands up nowadays and it's Crete not Thera, still interesting though http://www.kythera-f...bruary 1981.pdf

Yes, this sacrifice is interesting. I read an article by Rodney Castleden on this. The blood seemingly having been drained from the upper half of the victim's body before the temple collapsed and buried him and the priests. What we cannot know is if this was normal practise, or carried out only in times of disaster, as was clearly actually happening when he was sacificed. Though I would think if Minoans routinely carried out human sacrifice, then I would have thought this would have come down to us via the Greeks, unless of course the story of the Minotaur is really about human sacrifice. Though if it was, would the Greeks have not said so clearly and with some moral indignation.

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I wonder what the event might be. I thought of that as it's said to be basically that - but I don't really see anything on Crete? that indicates a festival or such is taking place...

The two ladies/queens in the tower (with another possible three) is intriguing to me though. Something of importance must be happening.

I think that as most other frescoes show boxing, bull leaping, rather grand ladies and other seemingly normal things, then until another discovery is made, we have to say that, to us, this shows the most important event in their history. Probably we will never know, and that is a shame, for them, even if they are long dust.

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I've had a look at the pic, Puzzler, and cannot see anything to my eye that indicates panic or fear. I think the "redness" of the island on the left is an indicator more of the hue that perhaps the island's countryside or local stone portrays. I must admit that I'm rather more of the opinion that the mural depicts an important event in the history of the two islands, an event that joins them both with residents of each island looking to the fleet in the middle as the important factor in the picture. Perhaps it is a depiction of an important treaty, or, more likely, a wedding fleet, which would be reflected by the importance of the passengers and the amount of people in the boats - one island looking out as their prince or princess departs and the other island waiting to greet their new royal addition ?

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I think that as most other frescoes show boxing, bull leaping, rather grand ladies and other seemingly normal things, then until another discovery is made, we have to say that, to us, this shows the most important event in their history. Probably we will never know, and that is a shame, for them, even if they are long dust.

It is a shame, but I'm glad we enjoyed some speculation on it all with open minds. :tu:

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Posted (edited)

I've had a look at the pic, Puzzler, and cannot see anything to my eye that indicates panic or fear. I think the "redness" of the island on the left is an indicator more of the hue that perhaps the island's countryside or local stone portrays. I must admit that I'm rather more of the opinion that the mural depicts an important event in the history of the two islands, an event that joins them both with residents of each island looking to the fleet in the middle as the important factor in the picture. Perhaps it is a depiction of an important treaty, or, more likely, a wedding fleet, which would be reflected by the importance of the passengers and the amount of people in the boats - one island looking out as their prince or princess departs and the other island waiting to greet their new royal addition ?

Thanks for having a look - but as said, one really wouldn't expect panic or fear too much with an orderly evacuation that saw everyone leave in time. But sure, no reason to think they wouldn't panic somewhat too. I'm thinking the animals might be fleeing, although it does also appear that the lion is chasing the deer but that may be just co-incidence that the lion is behind them.

If we had an idea of some important festival or such that this could be, might help be convincing on that idea, maybe a wedding - but as it stands, it's really just a lot of boats, one main decorated one, that look to be leaving the island...

I still wonder what that brown crate shape is on one of the boats that is different to the others.

I'm thinking could be red rock or countryside but it really does look like fire or lava too.

Edited by The Puzzler

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I still wonder what that brown crate shape is on one of the boats that is different to the others.

Wedding presents of course. Or perhaps an Aston martin BB5. :D

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Doc1_page1_image1.jpg

This album was created in 2011 and was trying to show similarities between the Akrotiri frescoes and Athanasius Kircher´s Insula Atlantis:

https://picasaweb.google.com/106047243612755133722/AtlantisSantoriniAkrotiriPaintingsFrescoes

Notice the two rivers and the contours of the island seem to have the same shape, or resemblance...

Regards,

Mario Dantas

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Posted (edited)

It is a shame, but I'm glad we enjoyed some speculation on it all with open minds. :tu:

Something has been pointed out to me, and I pass it on. The majority of all surviving depictions of Minoans show them, male and female, young and old, with long hair. There are some exceptions such as the famour fisher man fresco of course. But on a close examination of this scene in a large size book, it can be seen that not a single individual has long hair, all have short hair, even the ones in what seem to be cloaks and may be women. We know fashions change, but this seems rather radical that they all cut their hair short just for what is happening in this scene, and no others we know of so far. Well, I know a word lurks in the background to cover all eventualities on things we do not understand, ritual....

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted (edited)

Doc1_page1_image1.jpg

This album was created in 2011 and was trying to show similarities between the Akrotiri frescoes and Athanasius Kircher´s Insula Atlantis:

https://picasaweb.go...intingsFrescoes

Notice the two rivers and the contours of the island seem to have the same shape, or resemblance...

Regards,

Mario Dantas

I don't know about Kircher's map being the same but in my opening post I did mention how the island that might be Thera here has a large canal type river going all the way around it, (that Poseidon has created, as with a lathe) and a canal or river from the mountains - this is the EXACT description given by Plato.

A large canal went around the whole island and it has rivers that came down from the mountains connected to it.

Actually Thera has no natural rivers - so either they are rivers that are not there now, canals that are not there now, or it's not Thera...

Edited by The Puzzler

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Posted (edited)

I don't know about Kircher's map being the same but in my opening post I did mention how the island that might be Thera here has a large canal type river going all the way around it, (that Poseidon has created, as with a lathe) and a canal or river from the mountains - this is the EXACT description given by Plato.

A large canal went around the whole island and it has rivers that came down from the mountains connected to it.

Actually Thera has no natural rivers - so either they are rivers that are not there now, canals that are not there now, or it's not Thera...

marine.pano.jpg

Hello Puzzler,

I agree with your reasoning!

Nevertheless, i do not think that the Akrotiri frescoes depict an evacuation, although it could be one. In my opinion, it is more likely depicting a place that does not exist anymore (Atlantis), in front of Gibraltar. I believe that the scene shown in the frescoes have many details that are strangely coincident with Plato’s Atlantis. I have copied some excerpts from Plato’s Critias, which i found interesting to compare with the Santorini frescoes:

  • The entire area was densely crowded with habitations; and the canal and the largest of the harbours were full of vessels and merchants coming from all parts, who, from their numbers, kept up a multitudinous sound of human voices, and din and clatter of all sorts night and day.

  • The docks were full of triremes and naval stores, and all things were quite ready for use.

  • There was an abundance of wood for carpenter's work, and sufficient maintenance for tame and wild animals. Moreover, there were a great number of elephants in the island; for as there was provision for all other sorts of animals, both for those which live in lakes and marshes and rivers, and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, so there was for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of all. Also whatever fragrant things there now are in the earth, whether roots, or herbage, or woods, or essences which distil from fruit and flower, grew and thrived in that land; also the fruit which admits of cultivation, both the dry sort, which is given us for nourishment and any other which we use for food-we call them all by the common name pulse, and the fruits having a hard rind, affording drinks and meats and ointments, and good store of chestnuts and the like, which furnish pleasure and amusement, and are fruits which spoil with keeping, and the pleasant kinds of dessert, with which we console ourselves after dinner, when we are tired of eating-all these that sacred island which then beheld the light of the sun, brought forth fair and wondrous and in infinite abundance. With such blessings the earth freely furnished them; meanwhile they went on constructing their temples and palaces and harbours and docks.

  • Some of their buildings were simple, but in others they put together different stones, varying the colour to please the eye, and to be a natural source of delight. The entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with the red light of orichalcum.

  • They constructed buildings about them and planted suitable trees, also theymade cisterns, some open to the heavens, others roofed over, to be used in winter as warm baths; there were the kings' baths, and the baths ofprivate persons, which were kept apart; and there were separate baths for women, and for horses and cattle, and to each of them they gave as much adornment as was suitable. Of the water which ran off they carried some to the grove of Poseidon, where were growing all manner of trees of wonderful height and beauty, owing to the excellence of the soil, while the remainder was conveyed by aqueducts along the bridges to the outer circles; and there were many temples built and dedicated to many gods; also gardens and places of exercise, some for men, and others for horses in both of the two islands formed by the zones; and in the centre of the larger of the two there was set apart a race-course of a stadium in width, and in length allowed to extend all round the island, for horses to race in.

  • The whole country was said by him to be very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea, but thecountry immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea; it was smooth and even, and of an oblong shape, extending in one direction three thousand stadia, but across the centre inland it was two thousand stadia. This part of the island looked towards the south, and was sheltered from the north. The surrounding mountains were celebrated for their number and size and beauty, far beyond any which still exist, having in them also many wealthy villages of country folk, and rivers, and lakes, and meadows supplying food enough for every animal, wild or tame, and much wood of various sorts, abundant for each and every kind of work.

  • One kind was white, another black, and a third red, and as they quarried, they at the same time hollowed out double docks, having roofs formed out of the native rock. Some of their buildings were simple, but in others they put together different stones, varying the colour to please the eye, and to be a natural source of delight. The entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with the red light of orichalcum.

http://classics.mit....to/critias.html

Regards,

Mario Dantas

Edited by Mario Dantas
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